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Confessionalisation and Erudition in Early Modern EuropeAn Episode in the History of the Humanities$
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Nicholas Hardy and Dmitri Levitin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266601

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266601.001.0001

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Was an Eastern Scholar Necessarily a Cultural Broker in Early Modern Europe?

Was an Eastern Scholar Necessarily a Cultural Broker in Early Modern Europe?

Faustus Naironus (1628–1711), the Christian East, and Oriental Studies

(p.240) 7 Was an Eastern Scholar Necessarily a Cultural Broker in Early Modern Europe?
Confessionalisation and Erudition in Early Modern Europe

Aurélien Girard

British Academy

The article examines the Evoplia fidei catholicae romanae historico-dogmatica (The Historical-dogmatic Armour of the Roman Catholic Faith), a book which was published in Rome in 1694 by a Maronite, Faustus Naironus (b. 1628, d. 1708–1712). This Eastern Christian wrote several books in his own name, and spent his entire career in Rome, but failed to enjoy much of a reputation as a scholar during his own lifetime. Published by the Congregation of Propaganda press, the Evoplia was a controversial anti-Protestant book, where Naironus presented the Syrian Christians’ contribution to the Catholic cause: according to him, Eastern Christians, regardless of their Church, adhered to the Roman Catholic Church’s position on the seven sacraments and the main dogmas. I chart the gestation of the book, and explore the reasons – some confessional, some scholarly – why this work elicited little response, both among Protestant and French Catholic scholars.

Keywords:   Faustus Naironus (1628–1712), Oriental studies, Eastern Christianity, Maronites, Republic of Letters, Rome

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